July 12 – July 17, 2015
Everyone—inside and outside the academic community—has an opinion about grammar. Parents, CEOs, and, of course, teachers worry that students graduating from high school and college do not know grammar. But what does it mean to know grammar? If it were simply a matter of learning rules, teachers would not be struggling to correct grammar in paper after paper. In any case, basic grammatical rules don’t stick. This workshop looks at both the philosophical and practical questions surrounding the teaching of grammar, investigating connections between philosophical and pedagogical approaches. What assumptions about written language’s relationship to grammar do we bring to our teaching of writing? Using diverse literary texts and our own writing, we ask what grammar is, what it is for, what it contributes to the making of meaning and to creative expression, and how it can be taught using the fluid models for teaching writing that we value. Participants learn practical approaches to teaching grammar that do not focus on rules so much as incorporate them into students’ intuitions and habits as writers. This workshop is for teachers of English, composition, or grammar, as well as for any teacher who addresses issues of grammar. Previous participation in “Writing and Thinking” or “Writing to Learn” is a prerequisite.
Workshop fee: $1,300.00. The fee includes tuition and a single-occupancy dorm room on the Bard College campus, meals (beginning with Sunday dinner and ending with Saturday breakfast), and materials. The commuter fee is $1,000.00.